Body Mass Index, more commonly referred to as BMI, is a simple calculation which uses a person’s height and weight to determine the amount of body fat one holds, thereby indicating if a person is at a healthy weight or not. A lower BMI number indicates a lesser amount of overall body fat, while a higher BMI number indicates a greater amount of overall body fat. While a BMI calculation is not the only method that should be used to determine one’s overall health, BMI can be a screen for weight categories that may lead to additional health problems. Typically, a BMI over 30 is considered obese. The exception to this may be regarding weight-lifters or other athletes, whose body mass is mainly composed of muscle rather than fat.
The rate of obesity in both adults and children is increasing at a very serious and alarming rate. Obesity goes much deeper than a person’s external appearance. Unfortunately, obesity can have detrimental effects on an individual’s health. Obesity is a high risk factor for almost every single ailment including many cancers. Obesity has also been known to increase the risk factor for those who experienced or may experience Covid. With his medical expertise, Dr. David Berman believes that another reason obesity is so strongly correlated with a multitude of diseases is because obesity is usually a result of a diet high in sugars and highly processed foods, which is extraordinarily dangerous for everyone’s health. A healthier lifestyle consisting of proper eating, regular physical activity, and adequate sleep would tremendously reduce the risk of the majority of illnesses and stress people encounter today.
Dr. David Berman is a passionate advocate for plastic surgery as it can be a catalyst for a healthier lifestyle that will be maintained throughout one’s life and not just in the postoperative period. While plastic surgery can be an excellent option for those looking for certain physical changes in their body, it is important to note that many procedures are actually affected by a prospective patient’s BMI. A person with a BMI over 31 has many considerations to take into account before proceeding with elective surgery.
Cosmetic plastic surgery is by definition elective surgery and it is preferable that a patient delay their surgery in order to optimize their health first. This may include fat and weight loss. The amount of food a person consumes is far less important than the type of food that is consumed. Most people gain excessive weight by eating processed and refined foods with high sugar content. In order to properly lose weight, the goal is not necessarily to eat less, but to eat healthier and to gain better control of their overall health.
Dr. Berman is honest and realistic with anyone who consults with him regarding body surgeries. Plastic surgery is not magic. It is unfortunate that many people, and even cosmetic surgeons, will enhance their photos and create unrealistic expectations for other patients. While plastic surgery can often give a very nice improvement to one’s body shape, it is not a substitute for losing weight. Generally speaking, the patient should have a BMI lower than 31. If the BMI is much higher than this, Dr. Berman does not believe there will be a satisfactory postoperative result. Additionally, if the patient loses a lot of weight in the postoperative period, it could result in loose skin. Losing a small amount of weight postoperatively will often enhance the final result of a body surgery, but losing a large amount of weight postoperatively, (for example 50 lbs or more), could lead to an excessive amount of loose skin that could have also been dealt with at the time of the original surgery had the weight been lost prior. This is especially true for tummy tucks, thigh lifts and arm lifts.
It is important to note that no type of liposuction or an abdominoplasty is a type of weight loss surgery. They are body contouring surgeries and they will not get you the weight loss you need.
Most women who are overweight tend to lose weight in their abdomen and buttock region before they lose weight in their breast region. However, there can be exceptions. If someone is quite overweight and has either a breast lift, breast reduction or breast augmentation and then postoperatively drops a lot of weight, it could dramatically alter the shape of their breasts causing them to be more ptotic (saggy).
Most people with rounder and fuller faces are much less likely to need or benefit from a facelift. However, if one were to have a facelift and then lose a lot of weight, their facial skin may become more saggy and lax, which would likely undermine any initial benefit from a facelift.
A patient with a BMI of 30 or lower can probably proceed with surgery, since any postoperative weight loss will enhance the results of the surgery. If a patient with a BMI over 30 is considering plastic surgery, it is recommended that they lose weight first. Anyone with a BMI over 32, should almost certainly lose weight before considering any type of elective cosmetic surgery. Prospective patients are welcomed to reach out to Dr. Berman to discuss procedures that they may benefit from or to receive tips on how to reach weight loss goals prior to plastic surgery.